Autumn Weather Taught Me a New Word

I learned a new weather word this first week in autumn. The weatherman said we are in the grip of a flash drought. Never have I heard of a flash drought! This recent pattern has been coming for weeks! It is becoming severe.

Since we have had no significant rain for over a month, I see the phenomenon’s influence on this year’s autumn: color the landscapes parched, and me unwilling to invest in the seasonal colors that are my favorite plants.

A Poem and a Painting — good Goads

Providentially, Victoria Emily Jones, a favorite blogger, posted a poem Merry Autumn by Paul Laurence Dunbar. If you click the link, the painting by David Grossman, Autumn Flight, delights me. The impression of movement and the simplicity of colors and composition is not easy to do.

So, too, the vivid economy of Paul Dunbar’s words capture my love of all things autumn.

. . . Don’t talk to me of solemn days
In autumn’s time of splendor,
Because the sun shows fewer rays,
And these grow slant and slender.

Why, it’s the climax of the year,—
The highest time of living!—
Till naturally its bursting cheer
Just melts into thanksgiving.

Everything . . . Being able to see, hear, feel, and enjoy, even in hot, dry weather . . . Just melts into thanksgiving . . . If Paul Dunbar’s soul can soar in autumn, mine can too!

So, waiting for rain, I have started a fall painting: a memory  of a painting that I left in Dallas. I wonder if I can fit an owl in the tree. I was thinking of putting a little squirrel in there, too, right in the owl’s line of sight . . .

Nature is red in tooth and claw. . .

but, I don’t think Grandma Moses would have imagined that.

autumn weather

Painting in my favorite colors

Nevertheless, if I don’t get with it, winter may arrive, which means I will simply dollop titanium white over it and create a winter painting.

Now I Like Country Music?

By the way, maybe you saw Ken Burn’s survey of country music. It is time well-spent!  Call it worthwhile continuing education that delighted me, although I have not been a fan of much country music.

Country Music is a lens to see musical artists and the industries that sprang up because of their talents. The description of country music throughout the documentary is pithy: “Country music is three chords and the truth.” 

What a syllabus for recent American history, warts, and all.

Through it, I learned about generations of people, their roots, relationships, and laments – all in poetry I never bothered to study. It’s a survey of American history I needed to remember, especially when times seem crazier and crazier. The segment, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken: 1968-1972” resurrected quite a few memories of lessons learned the hard way.

Heading into autumn’s second week, anticipating the freedom and ability to enjoy poets, painters, and music: now that’s a goad for both my painting and writing! Although some headlines are sounding like a few from 1974 and 1998, may I melt in thanksgiving — and not despair. (Mr. Nixon resigned before formal impeachment charges were brought in 1974. Mr. Clinton was impeached in 1998.)

So, today I resolve to pray for people I don’t know – who rule the culture and times that are today. God, help the people who have been given power to rule and report the truth.

How about you, dear reader? Are you up for melting in thanksgiving this new week of autumn, and saying a few prayers for situations we can’t control? (On Borrowed Time– Living the Life God Lent Me)

autumn weather

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